Randomized comparison of artemether-benflumetol and artesunate-mefloquine in treatment of multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria.
van Vugt M., Brockman A., Gemperli B., Luxemburger C., Gathmann I., Royce C., Slight T., Looareesuwan S., White NJ., Nosten F.
An open, randomized comparison of artemether-benflumetol (CGP 56 697; Novartis) with artesunate-mefloquine was conducted in 617 patients with acute uncomplicated multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria on the western border of Thailand. Both treatments rapidly and reliably cleared fever and parasitemia, and there was no significant difference in the initial therapeutic response parameters. Parasite genotyping was used to distinguish recrudescences from new infections. The 63-day cure rate for artesunate-mefloquine (94%) was significantly higher than the cure rate for artemether-benflumetol (81%) (P < 0.001). Both regimens were well tolerated. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleep disorders, and other neurological side effects were between two and four times more common in the artesunate-mefloquine group than in the artemether-benflumetol group (P < 0.001). Artemether-benflumetol is effective and very well tolerated in the treatment of multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria. A higher dose than that used in the present study may improve efficacy.